Massachusetts’ celebrity family, the Wahlbergs, have taken over Hingham within the past few years. Originally, they opened a fine dining restaurant called, “Alma Nove,” in the Hingham Shipyard. Shortly after that, they opened a burger joint right across the street, aptly named Wahlburgers.
I’ve had the opportunity to eat at both restaurants and both of them live up to the Wahlberg name. That is to say that despite the Wahlberg family success in music and movies, many of us still second guess them when we see something new from them. Nonetheless, like Mark Wahlberg’s many movies or Donnie Wahlberg’s New Kids On the Block career revival, the Wahlberg restaurants always come through.
The Hingham Shipyard
19 Shipyard Drive
Hingham, MA 02043
Service and Atmosphere
Wahlburgers looks really new, clean, and welcoming from the outside. When entering, patrons have the option to either wait for seating to get served by a server or order from a counter and self-seat. It’s a somewhat strange combination, but the option is there. They also have a bar with alcohol cornered right up against the kitchen and order counter. The real atmospheric detail to note though is that the whole restaurant is kind of like an homage to the Wahlberg family. There are childhood photos posted on the walls and on the ceiling there are black and white title montages of Mark Wahlberg’s movies. It’s entertaining, which I think is the point.
I’ve been to Wahlburgers twice and the first time I went was closer to the when they just opened. The place was packed, but the servers were really friendly. On this occasion, I definitely got an authentic taste of New England hospitality when the woman behind the counter revealed how grumpy she was. She wasn’t especially helpful or pleasant and I immediately got the impression that she felt she was doing me a favor by simply taking my order in the almost empty restaurant. In any event, I’m willing to chalk this one person’s attitude up to a fluke.
By the way… on rare occasions sometimes you can run into Mark Wahlberg roaming around the restaurants!
What do you get at Wahlburgers? A burger. Duh. Despite the obvious, the restaurant does provide alternative options for those not looking to eat a delicious burger. They have hot dogs with a variety of topping choices and even a grilled portobello mushroom burger. I had the mushroom burger once and it was really good as far as giant mushroom burgers go!
On this occasion, I wanted to go for a classic burger, so I tried the “Our Burger,” which is a 1/3 pound patty that comes with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, ”government cheese,” and is topped with “Wahl-sauce.” I’m not sure what the Wahl-sauce is, but it’s a little smokey, creamy, and tangy all at once like a fancy ketchup-mayo mix. I also pushed it up a notch because I topped the burger with crispy bacon. The burger patties at Wahlbrgers are ground and formed daily and the freshness is noticeable in the flavor of the meat.
When the burger arrived and I took the first bite, I knew that I was eating a really good, solid, and delicious burger. The meat was tender (cooked to a nice medium), the vegetables fresh, and the bread not too thick or flimsy. The only issue I had with the burger was the odd size at a 1/3 pound burger. It’s not that the burger size is uncommon, it’s that if you’re really hungry, this burger isn’t enough, and if you’re just looking for a snack, the burger might be too big. Strangely enough, you can actually get a “double” burger at Wahlburgers that is a 1/2 pound, not 2/3 of a pound. It’s just the smaller 1/4 pound option they don’t offer. This pseudo-complaint is really just an attempt to get the perfect portion no matter how hungry you are for an already delicious burger.
The fries are pretty standard and didn’t really blow me away. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t anything special. Just standard, decent fries. My girlfriend tried the sweet potato tots and she liked them, but I wasn’t a fan. I’m not a sweet potato fan as it is, so that could be the only problem, but they tasted really sweet. They seemed like more of a dessert to me than a savory side to accompany a burger. Again, that might just be personal preference though.
If you’re looking for a good burger that’s made fresh then go to Wahlburgers. It’s probably the best burger in the Quincy, Hingham, and Braintree areas. If you needed one more reason to support Massachusetts-born royalty, here it is!
Good Vibrations. Sorry… I couldn’t resist.